i102-104, the new youth regional station for the north-west, have finally announced a launch date of January 14th. Broadcasting to a potential audience of 185,000, the station will offer an alternative to the existing local stations in Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo, Longford, Roscommon and Galway.
The BCI have signed a contract with i Radio Limited (trading as i102-104) to broadcast a regional youth radio service for the north-west of Ireland. Aimed at 15-34 year olds, the service will cover the counties of Galway, Mayo, Longford, Roscommon, Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal.
i102-104 will broadcast in the north-west 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The station’s music output will be predominantly centred on contemporary hits and will also give prominence to new music and more specialist genres such as alternative rock and RnB/urban sounds.
i102-104 will have a strong emphasis on interactivity with its listeners and is committed to providing relevant engaging news and current affairs programming for 15-34 year olds.
Speaking at today’s contract signing, the BCI’s Chief Executive Michael O’Keeffe said: “We are delighted to sign this contract with i Radio Limited, which is the third regional youth radio service to have been licensed by the Commission. We have every confidence that i102-104 will bring freshness, energy and diversity to the mix of services available in the north-west. I would like to wish the team of people involved every success in the years ahead”.
i102-104 will commence broadcasting on January 23rd next, a week later than recently announced. i Radio Limited were awarded the licence in principle for the north-west regional service at the BCI Board meeting in November 2006. There were five applications for the licence, an oral hearing for which was held in Galway in October 2006.
i102-104 have announced that it will now begin broadcasting across the north-west on February 7th. The first voices that will be heard on air will be Tommy Tiernan and Hector Ó hEochagáin.
The brand new station will be the first dedicated radio station for young people in the north-west region and will broadcast to Galway, Sligo, Mayo, Leitrim, Longford, Roscommon and Donegal. The station will be music-driven and will focus heavily on listener interactivity.
Highlights of the schedule include Ireland’s first daily bilingual radio show “Ar Éileamh and iWitness News”, which will champion i102-104’s aim of encouraging listeners to participate in the station’s programming through polls, vox-pops and giving them with the opportunity to comment on news and current affairs.
Comics Tommy Tiernan and Hector Ó hEochagáin will team up to present a weekly show every Friday. Other on-air talent was discovered through iRadio’s extensive talent search in the north-west region. Ten of the 32 staff in the station are new talent to the radio business.
From 6.20am every weekday morning the north-west will wake up to new presenters Wes O’Duinn and Louise McSharry and the “iWake Up Breakfast” team. From 9.30am “iWork with Dave O’Connor” will feature music and chat with workplace requests and dedications throughout. “iWitness News with Grainne McMahon” will be a ‘no nonsense’ round up of the day’s big stories. Then Mark Cunning continues with “iWork” from 12:45 while Fergal D’Arcy will present i102104’s drivetime show and Barbara NicDhonnacha will present Ireland’s first daily bilingual radio show Ar Éileamh.
Evening time will combine a mixture of music and chat. iTalk with Chris Greene will air each Monday through Thursday at 10pm.
Commenting on the newest addition to the Irish radio market, Dave Harland, CEO of OMD one of Ireland’s biggest media buying agencies, said: “The regional revenue model proposed by i102-104 is innovative and creates a much needed platform to reach young people in the north west region. We believe that agencies and clients will recognise the value of this platform from the outset for reaching the covetable youth market.”
The new station General Manager, Rena Maycock, added: “The whole team has worked tirelessly to ensure that i102-104 has the best possible radio offering for listeners in the north west. We believe we have achieved that and would like to thank everyone for their hard work over the last few months as we have prepared to go on-air. We have also been greatly encouraged by the level of agency support we have received to date.”
Dan Healy, CEO of Wilton Radio, commented: “We are genuinely excited by the team of people we have on board and I have been blown away by the ‘as live’ broadcasts we have been doing for the last number of weeks. We have a hugely talented team on board and I feel that i102-104 can really invigorate the media offering for young people in the north west.”
Deborah Fagan, Financial Director of Wilton Radio added: “I would like to thank the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland for awarding us this wonderful opportunity to deliver relevant radio to 15 to 34 year olds in the north west and to our shareholders for their unwavering support.”
i102-104 is operated by Wilton Radio, which has also been awarded a youth radio licence by the BCI for a youth radio station in the north-east, which will go on air later this year
i105-107, a new upcoming youth radio station for the north-east and midlands, is now seeking presenters, newsreaders, sports reporters and production gurus. The station, from the Wilton Radio group which has also just launched to the north-west, will broadcast to Cavan, Monaghan, Louth, Meath, Kildare, Westmeath, Laois and Offaly.
In a bid to find the country’s next generation of broadcasters, i105-107 is conducting a talent search in six locations across the region starting next week. Auditions will be held in Athlone, Kildare, Dundalk, Cavan and Meath and registration details can only be found by logging onto their website iwanttobeontheradio.ie. Those successful at the audition stage will be invited to participate in a workshop where they will have the opportunity to learn more about radio and develop their talent.
Speaking about the i105-107 talent search Dan Healy, CEO of Wilton Radio, commented: “The talent search is a great opportunity for us to tap into the talent that we know is in the north-east and midlands. Tommy Tieran and Hector O‚hEochagain, who present a show on sister station i102-104, are Navan men and we want to find the next generation of broadcasters. Our talent search in the north-west for i102-104 was a huge success and 10 of the 32 staff at the station were recruited through the talent search. We believe that the north-east and midlands is full of creative communicators, music buffs and motormouths. These are the radio stars of the future and we want them to be a part of i105-107.”
Ollie Brady, Programme Director of i105-107, said: “We will be clocking up the miles as we travel around the region looking for Ireland’s hottest new radio talent. We hope that those we meet will be as geared up as we are about creating a truly entertaining, interactive and youth orientated station for the North East and Midlands.”
Based in Athlone, the station will employ 32 people in on-air, production and administrative roles. i105-107 will provide a fully interactive schedule for its target 15-34 year old target audience, encouraging them to become involved in music output, on-air discussion and to shape the sound of the station.
Ireland’s newest radio station is to change its name for just one day on Monday. To celebrate Ireland’s connection to US President Elect Barack Obama’s inauguration on the 20th of January i105107, the radio station that covers the midlands and north east of Ireland, will become Obama FM in anticipation of this historical event.
On the day Obama FM will be broadcasting all day from Moneygall in Co. Offaly, the ancesteral home of Barack Obama’s great-great-great-grandfather. The station’s website, on-air imaging and content will all reflect the US President Elect’s Inauguration on January 20th.
The i105107 Obama FM bus (pictured below) is already travelling around the region spreading the word of the big day and Pat the Baker bread makers has also got in on the fun and agreed to create a new product called Barack’s brack.
i105107 Programme Director Alan Swan said the Obama bus was attracting a lot of attention: “We just thought we should do something to celebrate Barack Obama’s Irish roots. It will be such a historical occasion we had to mark it some way, and we are doing it in typical iRadio fashion!”
Aimed at 15-34 year olds i105107 covers the counties of Louth, Meath, Cavan, Monaghan, Kildare, Offaly, Westmeath and North-East Laois.
Breakfast Presenter Keith Walsh shows off the i105107 Obama FM Bus
i105107 have launched a new on-air initiative in an attempt to bring some optimism on the jobs front to their broadcast region. Called ‘Face 2 Face Book’, the station have invited 300 people who have recently lost their jobs to talk to each other, sharing experiences, networking, swapping contacts, which might in turn lead to employment.
According to i105107 Programme Director Alan Swan: “Everyone it seems uses social network sites, so we’ve decided to put together a day where 300 people can meet ‘face to face’ and network. It’s one room, one place where you can meet likeminded people and talk.”
i105107 will broadcast the ‘Bernard and Keith Breakfast Show’ live from The Ardboyne Hotel in Navan on February 11th. The audience of various professions and trades will not only enjoy a morning networking, they will receive some positive advice from a leading life coach, hear how one entrepreneur got through the last recession.
Alan continues: “We wanted to do something that brings a little bit of optimism to the places we broadcast to, going back to the old way of actually talking to each other face to face and giving people a bit of help, unlike the government who seem content just setting up task forces and not actually taking action”
The station have launched a Face 2 Face Book page at www.i105107.ie/face2facebook